Author: Kent Haruf
National Book Award Finalist A heartstrong story of family and romance, tribulation and tenacity, set on the High Plains east of Denver. In the small town of Holt, Colorado, a high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone after their mother retreats first to the bedroom, then altogether. A teenage girl—her father long since disappeared, her mother unwilling to have her in the house—is pregnant, alone herself, with nowhere to go. And out in the country, two brothers, elderly bachelors, work the family homestead, the only world they've ever known. From these unsettled lives emerges a vision of life, and of the town and landscape that bind them together—their fates somehow overcoming the powerful circumstances of place and station, their confusion, curiosity, dignity and humor intact and resonant. As the milieu widens to embrace fully four generations, Kent Haruf displays an emotional and aesthetic authority to rival the past masters of a classic American tradition.
Author: Kent Haruf
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
With an introduction by Peter Carey I suppose it is crazy. I don't know. I don't even care. But that girl needs somebody . . . And you old solitary bastards need somebody too. Somebody or something besides an old red cow to care about and worry over. Set in Kent Haruf's fictional landscape of Holt County, Colorado, Plainsong is a story of simple lives told with extraordinary empathy. Tom Guthrie is struggling to bring up his two young sons alone and, in the same town, school girl Victoria Roubideaux is pregnant and homeless. Whilst Tom's boys find their way forward without their mother, brothers Harold and Raymond McPheron - gentle, solitary, gruff and unpolished - agree to take Victoria in, unaware that their lives will change forever. A novel of haunting beauty from one of America's greatest writers of our time, Plainsong is an undeniable classic that explores the grace and hope of every human life and mankind's infinity capacity for love.
Author: Kent Haruf
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
In Holt, Colorado, Tom Guthrie is struggling to bring up his two young sons alone. In the same town, school girl Victoria Roubideaux finds herself pregnant and homeless. Whilst Tom’s sons find their way forward without their mother, quiet and gentle Harold and Raymond McPheron agree to take Victoria in, unaware that their lives are about to change forever. A novel of haunting beauty, Plainsong explores the grace and hope of every human life and mankind’s infinity capacity for love.
Author: Nancy Huston
Publisher: Zoland Books
Piecing together her family history from her grandfather's journal, Paula Sterling learns about how her ancestors endured the hardships of early frontier life through the boom times of the 1950s and comes to better understand her grandfather's character through the challenges he faced. Original.
Author: Kazushi Hosaka
A nameless, ambitionless office worker finds his small apartment gradually invaded by three other people: all younger than himself, but seemingly no less adrift. The year is 1986, and the strange communal life of this foursome, extending over half a year, from the end of winter to midsummer, makes up the plot, such as it is, of Plainsong, as this ersatz family finds itself growing closer, and life continues—quietly—around them. Part of the generation that grew to prominence following the success of baby boomers like Haruki Murakami, Kazushi Hosaka's work chronicles the small moments, the moments without conflict, that most novels work to elide. His characters talk, work, exist; their story is one where the tiniest occurrence takes on the proportions of a grand drama.
From at least the eighth century and for about a thousand years the repertory of music now known as Gregorian chant, or plainsong, formed the largest body of written music, and was the most frequently performed and the most assiduously studied music in Western civilisation. It lay at the root of all instruction in practical music, and in some sense was at the core of the enormous portion of notated music that survives today. But plainsong did not follow rigid conventions. It seems increasingly clear that, whatever may have been intended with respect to uniformity and tradition, the practice of plainsong varied considerably within time and place. It is just this variation, this living quality of plainsong, that these essays address. In addition, much new information is made available on the study of local rites and practices, and on the liturgical matrix of important polyphonic repertories. The contributors - leading scholars in their field - have sought information from a wide variety of areas: liturgy, architecture, art history, secular and ecclesiastical history, and hagiography, as a step towards reassembling the fragments of cultural history into the rich mosaic from which they came.
Author: Kent Haruf
One of The Best Books of The Year: Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, The Plain Dealer, and Rocky Mountain News Kent Haruf, award-winning, bestselling author of Plainsong returns to the high-plains town of Holt, Colorado, with a novel of masterful authority. The aging McPheron brothers are learning to live without Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they took in and who has now left their ranch to start college. A lonely young boy stoically cares for his grandfather while a disabled couple tries to protect their a violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide unveils the immemorial truths about human beings: their fragility and resilience, their selfishness and goodness, and their ability to find family in one another.
Author: Deborah Grabien
In a time soon to come, only the children, the birds, and the animals are left to enjoy earth's beauty. Five adults - an artist, a nymph, a wanderer, a pregnant woman, and a savior have also been spared from the plague that has swept everyone else away. Only the creatures understand, in part, the purpose that requires these five to come together in a special place at a special time. Gad the cat, Simon the ram, and the four ravens - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - are charged with the heavy responsibility of making sure that all goes according to plan. And deep in a quiet pool in the green and pleasant countryside, Old Trout, who knows almost everything about the great mystery that is unfolding, anxiously awaits the arrival of the child....
The Tie That Binds
Author: Kent Haruf
From the bestselling author of Eventide, The Tie That Binds is a powerfully eloquent tribute to the arduous demands of rural America, and of the tenacity of the human spirit. Colorado, January 1977. Eighty-year-old Edith Goodnough lies in a hospital bed, IV taped to the back of her hand, police officer at her door. She is charged with murder. The clues: a sack of chicken feed slit with a knife, a milky-eyed dog tied outdoors one cold afternoon. The motives: the brutal business of farming and a family code of ethics as unforgiving as the winter prairie itself. Here, Kent Haruf delivers the sweeping tale of a woman of the American High Plains, as told by her neighbor, Sanders Roscoe. As Roscoe shares what he knows, Edith's tragedies unfold: a childhood of pre-dawn chores, a mother's death, a violence that leaves a father dependent on his children, forever enraged. Here is the story of a woman who sacrifices her happiness in the name of family--and then, in one gesture, reclaims her freedom.
In Where You Once Belonged, the bestselling and award-winning novelist of Eventide, Kent Haruf tells of a small-town hero who is dealt an enviable hand--and cheats with all of the cards. Deftly plotted, defiantly honest, Where You Once Belonged sings the song of a wounded prairie community in a narrative with the earmarks of a modern American classic. In prose as lean and supple as a spring switch, Haruf describes a high school football star who wins the heart of the loveliest girl in the county and the admiration of men twice his age. Fun-loving, independent, Burdette engages in the occasional prank. But when he turns into a man, his high jinks turn into crimes--with unspeakable consequences. Now, eight years later, Burdette has returned to commit his greatest trespass of all. And the people of Holt may not be able to stop him.
The Fast Red Road
Author: Stephen Graham Jones
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
The Fast Red Road—A Plainsong is a novel which plunders, in a gleeful, two-fisted fashion, the myth and pop-culture surrounding the American Indian. It is a story fueled on pot fumes and blues, borrowing and distorting the rigid conventions of the traditional western. Indians, cowboys, and outlaws are as interchangeable as their outfits; men strike poses from Gunsmoke, and horses are traded for Trans-Ams. Pidgin, the half-blood protagonist, inhabits a world of illusion—of aliens, ghosts, telekinesis, and water-pistol violence—where television offers redemption, and "the Indian always gets it up the ass." Having escaped the porn factories of Utah, Pidgin heads for Clovis, NM to bury his father, Cline. But the body is stolen at the funeral, and Pidgin must recover it. With the aid of car thief Charlie Ward, he criscrosses a wasted New Mexico, straying through bars, junkyards, and rodeos, evading the cops, and tearing through barriers "Dukestyle." "Charlie Ward slid his thin leather belt from his jeans and held it out the window, whipping the cutlass faster, faster, his dyed black hair unbraiding in the fifty mile per hour wind, and they never stopped for gas." Along the way, Pidgin escapes a giant coyote, survives a showdown with Custer, and encounters the remnants of the Goliard Tribe—a group of radicals to which Cline belonged. Pidgin's search allows him to reconcile the death of his father with five hundred years of colonial myth-making, and will eventually place him in a position to rewrite history. Jones tells his tale in lean, poetic prose. He paints a bleak, fever-burnt west—a land of strip-joints, strip-malls, and all you can eat beef-fed-beef stalls, where the inhabitants speak a raw, disposable lingo. His vision is dark yet frighteningly recognizable. In the tradition of Gerald Vizenor's Griever, The Fast Red Road—A Plainsong blazes a trail through the puppets and mirrors of myth, meeting the unexpected at every turn, and proving that the past—the texture of the road—can and must be changed.
Author: Kent Haruf
From the beloved and best-selling author of Plainsong and Eventide comes a story of life and death, and the ties that bind, once again set out on the High Plains in Holt, Colorado. When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife, Mary, must work together to make his final days as comfortable as possible. Their daughter, Lorraine, hastens back from Denver to help look after him; her devotion softens the bitter absence of their estranged son, Frank, but this cannot be willed away and remains a palpable presence for all three of them. Next door, a young girl named Alice moves in with her grandmother and contends with the painful memories that Dad's condition stirs up of her own mother's death. Meanwhile, the town’s newly arrived preacher attempts to mend his strained relationships with his wife and teenaged son, a task that proves all the more challenging when he faces the disdain of his congregation after offering more than they are accustomed to getting on a Sunday morning. And throughout, an elderly widow and her middle-aged daughter do everything they can to ease the pain of their friends and neighbors. Despite the travails that each of these families faces, together they form bonds strong enough to carry them through the most difficult of times. Bracing, sad and deeply illuminating, Benediction captures the fullness of life by representing every stage of it, including its extinction, as well as the hopes and dreams that sustain us along the way. Here Kent Haruf gives us his most indelible portrait yet of this small town and reveals, with grace and insight, the compassion, the suffering and, above all, the humanity of its inhabitants.
Author: Freda Downie
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Publishing
Our Souls at Night
Author: Kent Haruf
A spare yet eloquent, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future. In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf’s inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis’s wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. Their brave adventures—their pleasures and their difficulties—are hugely involving and truly resonant, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer’s enduring contribution to American literature. This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
Author: Barbara Mutch
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd
This vivid novel, set against a backdrop of apartheid, tells the story of Ada, an illegitimate, unschooled but brilliant pianist who grows up in service to a family of Irish immigrants. As apartheid tightens its grip, she is seduced into an illegal relationship and bears a mixed race child. Forced to flee from the only home she knows, she must carve a life for herself, her daughter and her music in the bleak township that squats on the edge of the Karoo. Torn between love for her surrogate family and outrage at apartheid's sins, she embarks on a dangerous double life as friend - and potential foe - of both black and white. A powerful tale of love, loss and redemption, this is a journey into the soul of a fractured nation. It illustrates two simultaneous but contrasting views of South Africa under apartheid – seen through the eyes of a remarkable black woman who holds on for the miracle. Fans of romance, fiction and history will enjoy this personal tale of woman’s survival in a time of turmoil.